Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Salon: Best Reads of 2008

I've read 314 books this year and there are still ten days to go.

I am a big reader.

It's time to list my favorites for the year.

Best Award-Winners
Things Fall Apart
The Things They Carried
The Great Gatsby
Wind in the Willows
One Hundred Years of Solitude

Best Books about Happiness
What Shamu Taught Me
The Geography of Bliss

Best Books about Books
Book Smart
The Uncommon Reader
The Book Stops Here

Favorite Newberys
The Westing Game
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Going Here and There
China Road
Voyage Long and Strange
Lost on Planet China
Queen of the Road
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
Zen and Now

If You Want Bleak...
The Trick is to Keep Breathing
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Out of the Dust
Last Night at the Lobster
One-Handed Catch
The Thing About Georgie
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
The Things They Carried
On My Honor
The Road
Acedia & Me

Practically Perfect in Every Way
Helping Me Help Myself
Reading the QED
Around the World in 80 Dinners

Garden Spells
When Will There Be Good News?

Newbery Books Sure to Offend
Daniel Boone
The Story of Mankind
Smoky the Cowhorse

Wonderul Kids' Books
The Hero and the Crown
Because of Winn-Dixie
A Single Shard
An American Plague
The Pepins and their Problems
Judy Moody Goes to Colege
(Cybils choices to be announced at the end of this month)

Wish I Hadn't Bothered
New Earth
Wishing Year
Art of Racing in the Rain
Zookeeper's Wife

Best Recent Nonfiction
Relentless Pursuit
Sundays in America
Beautiful Boy
Not Quite What I Was Planning
An Exact Replica
Cactus Eaters
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
Reading the QED
Listening is an Act of Love
Proust and the Squid
Why We Hate Us

Best Recent Fiction
Olive Kitteridge
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead
So Many Ways to Begin
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Last Night at the Lobser
Fire in the Blood
Unaccustomed Earth
The Road


My Top Ten for 2008
The Things They Carried
Things Fall Apart
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Olive Kitteridge
My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead
Relentless Pursuit
Beautiful Boy
Wind in the Willows
Not Quite What I Was Planning


  1. What an astonishing number of books you've read this year!!! And I love your lists. I also fulling enjoyed Olive Kitteridge, and Things Fall Apart is a wonderful classic which I can read over and over again.

  2. I LOVE end of the year lists! Thanks for sharing! Now I have some books I need to look in to reading...

  3. I wish I hadn't bothered on The Art of Racing, as well.

  4. That is an amazing number of books. I'm so jealous. And you've read some really good stuff! I'm adding you to my reader (found you on sunday salon), I can't wait to see what you come up with next year.

    Do you ever read graphic novels?

  5. I've had a great reading year. I've been trying to read books I've seen recommended by other readers. This system has worked well this year.

  6. I've read a dozen or so graphic novels. Either they are wonderful and amazing (Maus, for example) or they are awful (I'll leave these unnamed).

  7. I love your list! I have My Mistress's Sparrow is Dead sitting on my bookshelf. I'm going to have to read it next year. There are so many books on your list I'm adding to my TBR list. Happy Holidays!

  8. Great lists!! I always look forward to seeing everyone's favorites.

  9. Olive Kitteredge will be on my best of the year list, too.

    What was offensive about Smoky the Cowhorse? It's been too long, obviously, since I read it. Was it the way the horses were treated?

  10. I was crazy about the action in the story and the way the story was told, but the bad guy was described over and over as a wicked redskin.

    Someone actually went through Doctor Doolittle and The Story of Mankind and edited all the racial stereotypes. It helped Doctor Doolittle a lot, but The Story of Mankind was still (to me) tedious.

  11. I just got my Book Bloggers Christmas Swap package from you--thank you! I love love love the amethyst--it's so gorgeous, and the polished butterfly is just stunning. I am going to wear it this weekend.

    And thank you for the other items as well! I'm so excited for Beedle the Bard, and the other items are just the right kind of feel-pampered treat.

    It was a great surprise to come home to.

  12. I love all the categories in your list, Debbie! And what an amazing number of books you've read. My reading hasn't been as productive this year. I'm not even going to hit the 50 mark! :(

    Now to your books:

    I loved The Things They Carried, Garden Spells, and Guernsey

    I didn't care at all for Last Night at the Lobster.

    I've heard mixed reviews for The Zookeeper's Wife, so I'll pass on it. However, I think I still want to read The Art of Racing in the Rain.

    I'm off to add Things Fall Apart to my "must read in 2009" list.



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